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Home base for Luberon, French Riviera and Italian Riviera

by Peter123 Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 5:29 PM

I am planning a 2 week trip in May to cover the following areas: Luberon villages, Antibes to Nice area and several villages along the Italian Riviera down to Genoa where I would like to spend 2 days at the end(or beginning of the trip). It would be nice not to have more than 2 home bases. I intend to rent a car to access all these small places. I would also prefer to stay in smaller places and rent / return the car in the same place, preferably in France.. The total driving distance between Genoa and a village in Luberon is 5 hours. I thought to fly to Nice, rent a French car and drive across the Italian border to Bordighera from where I could go on daily trips on both Italian and French side for the first day. Then move with the car to the Luberon area, as a 2-nd home base. When finished I could go back to Nice, return the car and spend some time there. I will the take the train and stay 2 days in Genoa flying back from there or just taking the train back again to Nice. Complicated?:) Any better ideas? Suggestions most appreciated. My list of things to see (please knock out places, as you wish): Nice, Vence, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Antibes, Villefranche, Luberon (Gordes, Oppede le Vieux, Menerbes, Bonnieux, Roussillon, Goult, Village des Bories, Senanque), Vaison-la-Romaine and Genoa with several Italian villages

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  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Re: Home base for Luberon, French Riviera and Italian Riviera

    by Beausoleil Online Now Feb 20, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Given your list of places, I'd say you will have a very busy 2 weeks but you should be able to do it. We lease a car so have different rules. Be sure you can drive your rental car into Italy. We often fly in and out of Nice when in that area. You might get and return the car in Nice and take the train to Genoa. Also check distances at Google Maps or www.viamichelin.com for distances. I'd cut out a couple places to spend quality time in the rest but that's just me. Do what makes you comfortable. When you get off the main roads, driving is a lot slower so figure in some extra time. Gorgeous area; have a great trip.

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  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo

    Re: Home base for Luberon, French Riviera and Italian Riviera

    by pfsmalo Online Now Feb 21, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    Your list of the Luberon villages is a good one (Gordes and Bonnieux are favourites of mine as they sit either side of the Parc du Luberon, a beautiful area). I personally wouldn't bother with Nice, Antibes and Villefranche, but I can understand as a tourist you would want to see them. If anything I would have a preference for Monaco and Juan les Pins. You could add a couple of villages such as Tourettes sur Loup and also Eze is worth a visit. But as Sally said above you're going to have a very busy two weeks, enjoy yourself though.

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  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Re: Home base for Luberon, French Riviera and Italian Riviera

    by Beausoleil Online Now Feb 21, 2013 at 7:32 AM

    Ah yes, Tourettes sur Loup is a favorite of ours and fairly close to St. Paul de Vence. It is a spectacular area so no matter where you go, you will have great sightseeing. Have a good time.

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  • Peter123's Profile Photo

    Re: Home base for Luberon, French Riviera and Italian Riviera

    by Peter123 Online Now Feb 21, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Thanks for the Tourettes sur Loup and Eze suggestions. Just checked them out and, yes, they both look quite interesting. I would leave Nice on my list, but I am less convinced about Villefranche and and especially Antibes which is too far for my home base in Bordighera. I could move my home base a bit closer to Nice...maybe Menton?

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  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo

    Re: Home base for Luberon, French Riviera and Italian Riviera

    by pfsmalo Online Now Feb 22, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    You may find it a bit cheaper away from the coast a little, especially if you are going out to the Luberon after Italy.

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  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Re: Home base for Luberon, French Riviera and Italian Riviera

    by Beausoleil Online Now Feb 22, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    We usually stay in Vence (not St. Paul de Vence) or a favorite hotel on the road between Vence and Tourrettes-sur-Loup and that works well for us. We have stayed in Nice and it's great but be sure you have parking if you have a car with you. There are quite a few places that do have parking; just be sure to check. Menton is nice but it's a bit far for us from the places we like to spend time. Depends on what you want to see and do.

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: Home base for Luberon, French Riviera and Italian Riviera

    by gwened Online Now Feb 22, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    of course its a nice area, and the man who did it all Peter Mayles En Provence and other books lived at Ménerbes in the Luberon region, with towns like Bonnieux,Cavaillon, Lourmarin, cucuron,in addition to what is here at VT, take a look of this bounty of information on the area in English

    renting a car

    are car rental brokers doing for many years. Two week is a lot for a large area, but you will get a feel for it alright. Nice is a nice transport hub for the area, Villefranche-sur-mer,Antibes, are nice too. Then going over to Italy wow that is one large trip, but you know what you can do better than I....I would just spend the two weeks in the Luberon.

    hope it helps your planning

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: Home base for Luberon, French Riviera and Italian Riviera

    by gwened Online Now Feb 22, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    oh yes the links a glitch of the new VT

    http://www.autoeurope.com/index.cfm http://www.kemwel.com/car.cfm

    and a route planner for help http://www.viamichelin.co.uk/

    hope it helps

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: Home base for Luberon, French Riviera and Italian Riviera

    by gwened Online Now Feb 22, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    ok the luberon link is not showing, oh well c'est la nouvelle version VT v1

    luberon-en-provence.com/inde...

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  • Re: Home base for Luberon, French Riviera and Italian Riviera

    by DiariesOfAnExplorer Online Now Feb 25, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    I've been there last summer...and I recommend you: Antibes & Cap d'Antibes, Cannes, Saint Paul de Vence, Porquerolles ( an island out of Hyeres), Nice, Saint Tropez, Monte Carlo ( if you have time)...great places really!

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